Bianca Pagdanganan
Bianca, Dottie struggle in Ohio
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - August 2, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Bianca Pagdanganan boomed with her long game but floundered with the rest, ending up with a two-over 74 in a wobbly LPGA Tour debut in the Drive On Championship paced by world No. 4 Danielle Kang in Toledo, Ohio Friday.

The power-hitting SEA Games double-gold medalist tamed the Inverness Club’s three par-5s, birdying two and eagling No. 2. But she struggled with the demanding par-4s and their surface. She stumbled with six bogeys, including on the par-3 No. 3, for a 36-38 card that dropped her to joint 48th among the 131-player starting field from 30 countries in the $1 million event marking the return of the world’s premier ladies circuit after four-and-a-half month break due to the pandemic.

Dottie Ardina, the other Filipina in the first of back-to-back tournaments in Ohio, fared worse with a 78, and is in danger of missing the cut at joint 102nd.

Kang, who stayed off competitive play for more than six months, looked as though she had never been off the fairway, churning out a bogey-free 66 for a one-stroke lead over England’s Jodi Shadoff.

The LPGA Tour’s keenly awaited return amidst the global health crisis caused an immediate sense of the sport’s new world with strict safety protocols, including no spectators and not even a leaderboard on the course that would help guide the players, particularly those in the hunt.

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